Permission to Rest

Aug 28, 2013 | Health, XTeaching, Yoga practices, Yoga teaching  | 4 comments

Generally speaking, I think people (including myself) don’t know how to be tired.
Think about it. Do you recognise when you are weary and stop and rest?
First of all, you have to be in touch with your body and mind to notice when fatigue symptoms are arising. But often, we are out of our bodies when we are driving ourselves to get a job done. You know the drill – when you are rushing against the clock or when you try to cram just one more thing in just so you can find time to rest later.
Even when you know that you should rest, you might not because it’s not convenient. You’re out and about and there’s no place to sit down. There’s no quiet spot to meditate or do savasana.
When you finally do alight, your body might be too exhausted to let go and/or your mind too busy to still. Even a night’s sleep doesn’t give refreshment when you’re depleted. And so you start the next day with your reserve tank on low.
For my part, I get cranky when I’m tired. It’s probably a defence so no one gets too close to finding out how tired I am. Hey, I’m a yoga teacher – a fount of renewable energy. My husband, when he’s rundown, might become withdrawn, like the castle guard putting up the drawbridge. A friend of mine is prone to depression when exhausted.
It would be so much easier to do what my sensible friend Heather does each day, as do the people who live in sunny, hot climes. Take a daily siesta.
Judith Lasater, author of Relax and Renew, says that it takes courage to rest and relax. It’s means you’re going against the protestant work ethic but you’d be complying with the practical Buddhist idea:

“When you are hungry, eat. When you are thirsty, drink, and when you are tired, sleep.”



  1. Oh yes… this is a huge one in our modern life! As a single parent running my own business… I often find I’m exhausted at the end of the day and heading to bed at 8pm. I’ve got to a place where I’m ok with that. It’s what my body needs. Often too, that’s when I turn to yoga nidra… always seems to help renew everything!

    • Yes, parents, probably especially single parents, and also yoga teachers… have a lot to learn about letting go.
      During one of the meltdowns I’ve experienced in my life, I came across an idea that made a big difference in my point of view.
      Consider that tension may be the only thing that is keeping you together.
      From that perspective, dropping into relaxation and rest seem like jumping off a cliff.

  2. Isn’t it strange we find such a simple thing so difficult to do? I love resting, and slowing down, and napping on occasion. I also love answering “no” when people say “are you busy?” as people expect you to reply, “sooooooo busy!!” Then they treat me like I’ve got a disease – non-busyness – that they may catch if they get too close.

    • I get’cha, Brook. It’s so boring hearing from people that they are so busy and too busy. Really, it’s giving one’s power away, tantamount to saying I don’t have any choice about my lifestyle. Considering how much you seem to accomplish in your life, it’s all the more inspiring that you come from non-busyness. Hat’s off!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Archives